How to sync with Google Drive for desktop
This guide is for people who mainly work with their documents in Google Drive and want the option of working with files on their desktop.
- Checking you've set up streaming
- Setting up folders for offline access
- How to edit a Word document online
What does syncing do?
Syncing with Google Drive for desktop lists the folders and files stored in your Google Drive as shortcuts in Google Drive (G:) on your computer. Any required access to files and folders offline must be manually set up while you are online.
Note: Before carrying out the next steps, allow for lots of files/folders possibly taking several hours to sync to Google Drive.
- How to install Google Drive – if Google Drive for desktop is not installed on your device, or if you’re not sure it is
- How to back up with Google Drive for desktop – if you want to work mostly on your device and back up documents to Google Drive.
- Check you are signed into your school Google account.
- Click the Google Drive for desktop icon on your taskbar - you may need to select the arrow to view hidden applications:
The Google Drive for desktop app will open.
- Click on the settings cog on the top right of the app (‘1’ in the image above).
- Select Preferences (‘2’ in the image above).
You will now see:
- Click on Google Drive.
- Select Stream files.
- Close the window.
To make documents (other than Google Docs, Sheets etc.) available for editing and updating when you are offline:
- Open File Explorer.
- Double click on Google Drive (G:) (‘1’ in the image above).
- Open My Drive (‘2’ in the image above).
- Right click on the folder in My Drive you wish to make available offline (‘1’ in the image above).
- Select Offline access (‘2’ in the image above).
- Select Available offline (‘3’ in the image above).
Once the folder has synced onto your device, the cloud icon will change to a tick. The image below shows the icons for:
- ‘1’ – syncing/backing up
- ‘2’ – online only
- ‘3’ – available offline.
If you're online and want to edit the Word document directly in Google Drive online:
- Right click on the file name.
- Select Open with Google Docs.
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